We’re so excited to celebrate with you today! We’ve reached the halfway point in our online Bible study of Kelly Minter’s What Love Is. What a joy to study God’s Word with you!
We’re discussing Week 3 in the book in our small groups, which covered these themes:
- False teachers in the church
- Remaining and abiding in Jesus
- Children of God
- Sacrificial love
In our reading, John emphasized that we need to “remain in Him” (1 John 2:27).
Yet, on that Monday morning, the broken shoe was what finally did me in.
It had been one of those Mondays. We all have them. The kind of Monday that sucks the breath out of you before you barely begin.
Then, one minute before the school bus pulled up in front of my house, my daughter popped her foot into her sneaker and announced, “Look, Mom, my shoe broke, but I can still wear it.” She then took a step forward to demonstrate its viability as a working shoe and the sneaker fell off with a plop on the floor.
So, I grabbed an extra pair of sneakers, but the laces were knotted up tight. As we stood there desperately trying to conquer our shoe-crisis, the school bus picked up my other daughter and drove on away.
We rushed to the minivan, rushed to the school, rushed to take my third daughter to preschool, rushed to the appointments I had for the day, and then rushed right on home.
I felt the stress to conquer my to-do list with determination and focus, but really my heart was worn down with brokenness and need.
A broken shoe?
How does that even happen?
It’s enough to make a girl cry in the moment and then learn to laugh much, much, much later.
Life can trip us up with so much that’s unexpected. We usually recognize it in a life crisis. Cancer, death, job loss, and more may rock our world, but then we plant ourselves in the Solid Rock.
Sometimes it’s harder to recognize the way the daily grind wears us right down.
You can plan and plan, make those lists, keep those agendas, and then a sneaker breaks on a Monday morning. You better hope that all you have holding you together isn’t a to-do list you jotted down in a notebook with a blue pen.
You better hope you’re abiding, remaining and resting in Jesus.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing (John 15:4-5 NASB).
This ‘Abiding….” or “remaining” (as the NIV says), what does this mean for us on a Monday of unexpected breaking?
In The Message it reads:
“Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me. I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing” (John 15:3-8 MSG).
This “remaining” is no passive spiritual state, but Kelly Minter tells us:
Remaining takes commitment. It puts up with the mundane. It chooses to love even when the glow of newness has faded. Remaining knows the value of longevity, loyalty, and hard work that eventually pays off. To remain is to know that your labor is not in vain. It’s to live with hope (p. 67)
Why? Because when hassles, bothers, seemingly endless waiting, broken shoes, minor annoyances and even true trials pull at us, they reveal more than some superficial root system that gives way at the slightest pressure.
They reveal our deep connection to the Vine.
This week, let’s hold on tight, hold on for dear life if needed, to Jesus, our Vine, and “live with hope.”
BIBLE STUDY TIP:
If you’re like me, you live life on-the-go and do a lot of waiting, waiting, waiting in your car or outside the dance studio or at the doctor’s office.
So, if it’s feeling difficult to fit in Bible study, consider making a Bible-to-go bag. Fill a tote with some pens, a notebook, a Bible and maybe a devotional. You can pop your Bible study book into the bag and keep it with you as you run about town.
Sometimes in this age of smartphones, we might be tempted to fill time with technology, but the Bible-to-go bag allows you to fill your time with His Word.
ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:
- Basic Study: Complete week 4 in the study guide, about 20-30 minutes each day.
- Optional: To watch session 4 video CLICK HERE (optional due to cost).
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK (answer in small groups or post a comment here):
- Kelly tells us that the Greek word for “remain” or “abide” is “meno,” which means “not to depart; to continue, to be present; to be held, kept, continually; to continue to be, not to perish, to last, endure.” What part of the definition of “meno” means the most to you in your life right now and why? (from p. 76).
- What are some of the activities, social circles, entertainment and habits that hinder the gospel message from abiding deeply in us? (from p. 78)
- We read this week that “every believer in Christ is a child of God and is born of God” (p. 87). What does it mean to be God’s child? How does knowing you are a child of God impact your attitude, your speech, your behavior and the way you love others?
- John says we are to love not only in word and speech, but with actions and truth. What do you think loving in ‘actions and truth’ looks like? Do you have any examples of how we can show this kind of love to others?
- How is the study going for you so far? Are you keeping up with the lessons? Do you need to do some catching up?